“I’ve Had Enough of What Ain’t Right!”
“Do what?” asked his friend Charlie Washburn.
“Kill them,” said Hatfield. “I’m going to kill both of those bitches.”
The two of them were sitting on plastic-upholstered armchairs in the musty living room of Zack’s cheap furnished apartment in Astoria, Oregon. Hatfield was a tall and rangy blond man in his late 20s. His muscles were lean and ropy, and his often scowling face was prematurely seamed from working outside in the cold and the wind, at whatever temporary labor jobs he could find in his home town that hadn’t been snapped up by Mexicans.
“Yah, apparently that’s the big thing in all the feminist self-help and psychobabble books now. They call it life scheduling or some such shit,” explained Hatfield. “The first marriage is for kids, which of course she always takes with her in the divorce settlement after soaking hubby number one for every penny she can. Apparently the lesbian thing is also something every truly liberated woman is supposed to schedule now. I think all Ms. Proudfoot has to her name is a welfare check and a line of noble Native American Womyn crap.”
“Woe-men?” repeated King.
Hatfield nodded. “That’s the way fems write it. I think that’s how it’s pronounced. It’s one of those PC shibboleths the media and the intelligentsia are trying to introduce into the language and make into an accepted and then mandatory term, like the word Ms. George Orwell wrote about it in 1984. Newspeak. Mind control. Just like we have to say African-American instead of nigger. When a totalitarian society controls the language, controls the words that people use in speech, and punishes them for using any word or terminology other than the prescribed ones, eventually the whole population will be so afraid they’ll start using the politically correct terms in their very thoughts, to make sure they don’t blurt out some word that will make them lose their jobs or get them arrested for hatespeech. Anyway, your life has to be destroyed because it fits into Liddy’s life schedule, apparently. It’s all about her, of course. You’re a used component and now she’s throwing you away.”
“But if she wanted a divorce she didn’t have to do—this!” King waved his hand around at the surrounding walls and Plexiglass. “Why this?”
“To make absolutely sure that she gets Caitlin and Judy,” Hatfield replied patiently. He had explained the situation to King several times before, and so had his court-appointed attorney, but it was obvious that King simply could not yet wrap his mind around what was being done to him. “Under both the federal hatecrime laws and the Oregon Diversity and Tolerance Act, any conviction for hatecrime or hatespeech automatically terminates a convicted offender’s parental rights.”
“All for one single word?” screamed King in horror. The walls were closing in on him and he was clearly beginning to go insane. “Just because I said dyke?”
“Hey, buddy, settle down!” snapped the guard behind him. “You’re in enough trouble already! I’m a pretty laid back kind of guy, but it’s my job to make sure you don’t talk any more hateful stuff.”
Hatfield ignored him, and when King got the phone back to his ear he went on. “Martha Proudfoot claims that you made her feel threatened because of her gender, her sexual orientation, and her race. I think she claims you said dyke squaw, actually. You’re lucky the D.A. kept it in state court and so you’re only looking at five years for the speech. If they’d gone federal with it they might claim that making the Proudfoot woman feel apprehensive was an act of hatefully-motivated assault, which they can do under the statute, and then they could hit you with actual hate crime, which is mandatory life, maybe without parole if the judge thinks you actually intended to strike her.”
“Strike her?” laughed King bitterly. “My God, have you seen that creature? She’s built like a bulldozer!”
“Steve, you know that the FBI had some child psychologist and a couple of agents in the other day and they grilled the girls for four or five hours?”
“Yeah, Pritkin, my lawyer, told me about that. Caitlin is six years old! Judy is four! What in God’s name could they expect to get from children?” demanded King incredulously.
“They asked the girls if you’d ever said any bad things about black people or Hispanic people as well as gay people, that kind of crap. This thing up in Idaho last month has them really freaked out and maximum paranoid. The Marines just recaptured Coeur d’Alene a few days ago, and the feds are seeing white supremacist rebels under every bed now. They asked your girls if they’d ever seen any flags in your house. Green, white, and blue ones.”
“We can just stand by and wring our hands while Steve King’s life is destroyed, and the lives of two little girls are poisoned. We can write a letter to the editor, or maybe get drunk and call up a right-wing talk show, although we’d damned well better not say what we really think, or we’ll be up on hatespeech charges too. And it won’t save Caitlin and Judy King from being raised to hate all men of their own race.”
“Suppose we all club together whatever money we’ve got and try to hire a decent lawyer for Steve?” suggested Ekstrom.
“There’s no such thing as a decent lawyer, and even if there were, they wouldn’t stand a chance in these courts on a hatespeech case,” Zack told them. “No lawyer with enough clout to beat a hatespeech case will touch one, because of the repercussions to his own career if he does win. There is only one way. Those two bitches can’t be around to get up on a witness stand and swear his life away.”
“It’s not just about Steve,” said Washburn heavily. “It’s about Caitlin and Judy as well.”
“It’s not even about them, Charlie, not in the final analysis,” said Hatfield, shaking his head. “It’s about us. About whether we’re men or dogs.” Zack suddenly clenched his fist and roared aloud, a lifetime of rage and humiliation and contempt for the world around him welling up from his heart and his belly and his brain and bursting out of his body in an explosion.
Washburn looked at the other two men. “Me, too. I’m in. Len, I think Zack’s right. You’d best take a powder. Zack’s single and I’m divorced, and we both have crappy jobs and nothing to lose. You have a family and a business and you’ve got everything to lose. I wasn’t a Ranger like Zack, I was just a truck driver, but I remember enough of my military stint to fire a weapon. I’m sure two of us can do this. There’s no need for you to be involved.”
“I am tired of living in hell,” said Ekstrom. “I never thought that I would be ready in my own mind to kill someone. But I’m ready. At some point in time, this madness and this cruelty has to stop. For me, it stops with Steve King. They’re not going to get him. No.”
“That’s the real thing, all right,” said Zack with a sigh and a smile. “It’s taken how many years between us to reach this point? Sometimes I thought white men never would.”
“We have,” said Charlie. “Okay, Zack, you’re the ex-Ranger. You should know how to plan a double assassination. How do we go about this? What do you want Len and me to do?”
“I’ll do the planning and the actual killing. I need you two to provide an alibi, nothing more,” said Zack.
“You do realize the shit is going to hit the fan big time when two lesbians with a hatespeech case pending against a white male are murdered?” asked Charlie. “You also realize that yours is the first door Sheriff Ted Lear is going to come knocking on? He knows you and Steve have been tight since high school, plus you visited him in jail.”
“Yeah, well, that’s why I need you two guys as my alibi,” said Hatfield with a grin. “But I’ve also got a little trick up my sleeve to muddy the waters like hell. I’m going to take a magic marker with me, and I’m going to write the letters NVA [Northwest Volunteer Army] on the wall. Maybe in their blood.”
“Jesus, Zack, that will be sure to bring in the FBI!” exclaimed Washburn. “After what’s happened in Coeur d’Alene, they’re descending on the Northwest like a swarm of angry bees!”
“We see all over CNN and Fox News that the uprising in Coeur d’Alene has been crushed and it’s all over. I don’t buy that. My guess is what’s left of the real NVA is going to keep on fighting and hitting these bastards.”
He walked calmly down the empty street and turned in at the Kings’ driveway. Inside the sweat shirt, stuck into his belt was a truncated double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun. There was a battered military-surplus Hummer in the driveway sporting a number of feminist and pro-abortion bumper stickers, which Zack had learned belonged to Martha Proudfoot. There were no other cars in the driveway, which was a good sign. He had no way of knowing if Liddy King or the Proudfoot woman had become sufficiently paranoid to install an alarm system. Steve King had never used one, since this part of the Northwest was still sufficiently crime-free so it had not seemed necessary, as long as the family had Spuds the terrier to sound the alarm in case of intrusion. But with the media full of hysterical raving about evil racist terrorist conspiracies in the wake of the October rebellion in Idaho, the two lesbians might have gotten jumpy.
He pushed the door open. The chain was off, so he would not need the small pair of bolt cutters in his left back pocket. That’s a stroke of luck, he thought. They’re careless. Careless and arrogant. I’ll bet it simply never occurred to them that despite what they’re doing, anyone would dare to lift a finger to stop them. Why would it occur to them? Until a few weeks ago, no one’s ever fought back.
The little beds were empty. Thank God, he thought to himself. Caity and Judy at least won’t have nightmares about terrible sounds and boogey men in masks from this night’s work. I wonder if they will ever be able to understand why, when they grow up?
Now Hatfield stood outside the master bedroom door. He could hear low, drowsy female voices from within, talking softly and casually. There was no sign of alarm; he had been as silent as the grave. Zack pulled two rubber ear plugs out of his pocket, lifted his mask and inserted them into his ears so the noise and concussion of the heavy bore gun going off in a closed room would not damage or rupture his ear drums. He slid the hammerless shotgun out and eased the safety off; it was ready to fire. He took a long deep breath…
“You wrote those letters on the wall?” Ekstrom persisted curiously.
“I did. Don’t know when they’ll find the bodies, but when they do I promise you’ll be able to hear the Daily Astorian scream in horror all the way down to Coos Bay.”
“What happened in Coeur d’Alene has changed things. Now we know it can be done. We failed in Coeur d’Alene, but the Party hasn’t been destroyed. I know because I have been in contact with some people who escaped from Coeur d’Alene and who are still fighting, carrying on a guerrilla war to establish our own white country here in the Northwest. It’s going to be long and bloody and horrible, but we’re going to win.”
“How do you figure that?” asked Washburn curiously.
“Short answer? God is on our side,” said Zack simply. “Oooo-kaaay…” said Washburn. “And you know this, how?”
“Because of what happened in Coeur d’Alene and what happened with me tonight,” Zack explained. “These things are God’s sign to us. Not whether we won or lost, or whether I screwed up somehow and I’m in jail looking at a double murder charge this time tomorrow night. That’s not what matters. What matters is that these things happened. That we did them. God has given the white man back his courage. The courage to stand up and defy our oppressors’ laws. The courage to fight back with weapons in our hands, instead of a computer keyboard. The courage to be men again, real courage that comes from our hearts and not from a can of cheap domestic beer or a whiskey bottle. We never had that before, up until now, and that’s why white men always lost. We were ashamed of who we were. We were ashamed to be who we are.
“No more. Guys like me and the Old Man and so many others have spent all our lives begging God on our knees to just do this one little thing for us, to give us back the courage that our ancestors had, even if it’s only for one last glorious defeat, so that we can die on our feet instead of live on our knees, and exit the stage of history with our heads held high. God has answered our prayers. We have our courage back now. I don’t know how it happened, but we’ve got it back. We got ours back when we did this thing tonight, because even though I was the trigger man, you guys stepped up to the plate just as much as I did. Anyway, I’m going to meet with some people about joining the Northwest Volunteer Army.”